Introduction to Polycentric Political Economy
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 57, pp. 141-143, 2005
3 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2010
Date Written: 2005
This special issue of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, “Polycentric Political Economy: A Festschrift for Elinor and Vincent Ostrom,” began as a conference at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University that was organized in conjunction with an award ceremony celebrating a lifetime of scholarship and teaching by Elinor and Vincent Ostrom. Former students, colleagues, and admirers gathered at George Mason University to honor the Ostroms’ work as scholars, teachers, and mentors. The award was the ﬁrst in a series of initiatives begun by the Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Order. The Fund is the brain-child of Richard Cornuelle, the author of Reclaiming the American Dream (1965), The De-Managing of America (1975) and Healing America (1983). Cornuelle was Ludwig von Mises’s research assistant at New York University in the mid- to late-1940s. Cornuelle learned from Mises the idea that the economic way of thinking (praxeology) could be applied to areas outside of the domain of the market economy to understand the societal forces at work that either lead to, or hinder, peaceful social cooperation. After leaving New York University, Cornuelle worked in various jobs, including as a Program Ofﬁcer at the Volker Fund, which in the 1950s and early 1960s was instrumental in helping establish the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Political Economy at the University of Virginia, the Journal of Law and Economics at the University of Chicago School of Law, and a lecture series for students that helped produce such books as Bruno Leoni’s Freedom and the Law and Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom.
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